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6 Ways to Save for Your Child’s Education

With scholarships and student aid only going so far, figuring out a way to save for your child’s education is essential. Check out these steps to calculating the costs of university and college, and the best way to repay debt once your student is out of school.

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Managing Student Debt

Each year, thousands of Canadian students turn to government loans to help pay the cost of post secondary education. According to the Canadian Federation of Students, by the time they graduate, many of those same students are faced with a debt load well in excess of $20,000.

Today, likely one in every five students who graduated last June with a student loan, are unable to pay their loan installments and are now in default. Most student loan programs offer a grace period of six to nine months after post secondary studies before repayments begin. However, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions reports that some 20% of money lent to students goes into default.

Further, a recent Statistics Canada study showed that student borrowers between the ages of 20 – 45 were less likely to have savings or investments compared to non-borrowers. Similarly, the likelihood of owning a home was lower for borrowers compared to non-borrowers. Here are some useful tools and resources to help Canadian students and their parents to manage post secondary education costs before overwhelming debt and default take hold:

 

 

The Investor Education Fund offers unbiased financial information to the general public via GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca. The not-for-profit organization was established by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), and is funded through OSC enforcement settlements.

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1. When Will I Be Able to Pay Back My Student Loan?

For students looking for the best method to pay back student loans, this calculator offers three different options. By filling in different information for each option, the calculator will show which scenario best fits repayment goals.

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2. What are the Real Costs of Post-Secondary Education?

Tuition fees are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the full cost of higher education. The University Cost and Debt Calculator will help students and parents to better understand the financial commitment and resources needed to cover those costs, and start to develop a plan to deal with this commitment.

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3. How Much Do I Need to Save for my Child’s Education?

It is never too early to start saving and planning for a child’s education. For most families, the easiest way to save is by making regular RESP contributions. This education savings calculator will help parents estimate how much money is needed in an RESP account each year to cover those education costs:

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4. How Do I Develop an Education Savings Plan?

Surveys show that the average family pays 30% of their children’s post-secondary costs. With some programs today costing $14,000 a year and more, that can be a big part of a family’s savings. Here are some tips to help parents get ready.

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5. How Can the Government Help Save for a Child’s Education?

Most Canadians agree that education is the way to a better future. That’s why the government helps Canadian families save for a child’s post secondary education. It’s like getting free money – just be sure to understand how each program works. Find out more here.

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6. Taxes and Post-Secondary Education

Students can get a tax break to help with some of the costs of studies after high school. This includes tuition and textbooks, moving expenses, student loans, Lifelong Learning Plan and public transit. They may also be able to transfer tax credits to a parent. Lean more tax tips for students here.